Last week, the Southern AIDS Coalition and Test for Life launched a new website called the Southern AIDS Living Quilt (livingquilt.org) to help destigmatize HIV infection among U.S. women, The Times-Picayune reports. The site features video interviews with HIV-positive women, giving them a forum to disclose their status.

One of the first interviewees is Gina Brown, an HIV-positive caseworker for a New Orleans-based AIDS service organization called NO-AIDS Task Force. Brown said that for 11 years no one except relatives and friends knew her status. That changed after Hurricane Katrina, which displaced her to Dallas, where the found the courage to reveal her secret to the world.

When she was diagnosed in 1994, Brown said, HIV/AIDS was still considered “a gay man's disease. I wish that other women had stood up then, before I became infected, and told me that this disease was a real possibility in my life.”

According to the article, in New Orleans alone, women made up 67 percent of new infections in 2007.